I’ve found that one of the fastest ways of getting your name out there is to use Twitter. Without it, I think I’d still be struggling to find work and other freelancers who I’ve come to depend on for sharing work.
I know some of you are still skeptics as to how social media can do anything for your business.
I assure you the few minutes spent on Twitter throughout the day are well worth it. Thanks to the site, I’ve been able to get my personal blog read, which lead to lots of paid guest writing positions, I’ve gained several clients who’ve heard of me on Twitter, as well as several other freelancers who share work with me.
It’s still not easy to get heard on Twitter though, as there are millions of accounts and it can seem like you’re screaming in a crowd to make yourself heard. However, most of the people who are successful on Twitter are so for a few good reasons.
So how can you get yourself heard? Here are six tips:
1. Share Your Knowledge
People enjoy following other freelancers, not because they want to hear what you’re eating for lunch, but because they want to learn from you. Make it a habit to share things you’ve learned in small tweets.
For example, when I finally figure out a tough CSS issue, I tweet about it how I fixed it and what it was. While it can sound difficult to try and explain problems in 140 characters or less, it actually ends up making you a better writer in the long run, since you’re forced to get to the point.
2. Share Links
One of the ways I gained my initial thousand followers was by tweeting about a lot of interesting articles every hour or so. Of course, this was done when I first started out freelancing and didn’t have much client work, so I had the time to invest in reading, commenting and tweeting blogs.
I don’t do this much now since I’m busy, but other freelancers, and even clients, like to follow an industry expert, and you can come off as an expert by staying on top of the latest trends, events and articles.
Don’t spam your followers though, keep it to once or twice an hour and only tweet high quality article. No one wants to follow someone who tweets about “30 Coffee Shop Designs” all the time.
3. Share Your Work
I’ve lately gotten into the habit of sharing what I’m working on at the time. Even if the site is only have coded, with a bunch of errors, I go ahead and tweet out the link. People seem to love watching how others work, so it’s greatly appreciated, even if there’s not much to show. It’s kind of like the mentality of dribbble, or showing a part of something you’re doing.
Potential clients also love to see this. It shows you’ve got real clients and your services are in demand. It also gives them an idea of how you work and the process you go through to get to the finished product.
4. Talk to People
No one likes following a robot. Make sure you engage with people and reply to their tweets, as well as replying to all of those people who tweet back at you. This makes you seem more personable and you’re more likely to find help when you need it, as well as plenty of clients and friends.
5. Offer Advice & Tips
A lot of times when people are having problems in their work, they’ll send out a tweet asking for help. If you’ve got some spare time or knowledge in the area, offer to help them through Twitter for free. Eventually, you’ll need help and they’re more likely to help back.
Also, if it’s a potential client asking for a bit of advice or criticism, make sure you do everything you can to be the first to respond. They’ll remember you later when they need to hire a new freelancer.
6. Respond to Requests for Work
The easiest way to get work is to ask for it. And no, I don’t mean sending out a bunch of tweets literally asking someone to send something your way. Subscribe to a Twitter feed with keywords in your area and respond to those tweets.
For example, if you’re a graphic designer, you may subscribe to a feed with the keywords “looking” “hire” “designer”. There are seriously hundreds of “I need a designer” tweets going out every day, and that’s a lot of work you could be missing!
Ways Twitter Has Helped Other Freelancers
I’m not unique in getting a business boost from Twitter. Other freelancers have benefitted as well. Here some comments from my friends and colleagues:
- @Kajrietberg. I do get all my work through Twitter. People on Twitter know that I’m a WordPress man. So people do send people with WordPress questions to me. Otherwise, when people on Twitter ask for a WordPress person, I mostly react on those questions and tell them I’m a WP man.
- @jeremiahx. It has allowed me to communicate with like minded creatives/devs that are in my city, but who I wouldn’t normally run into, thus helping me create my “brand” and thus creating more visibility.
- @adrinahdesign. Twitter helped me build a community of leads, resources, and friends that in hindsight turned out to be invaluable.
- @courtenayrogers. Twitter has led me to more influential people in my community than all of my networking events combined.
- @AndrewChamp. Search terms to find people in your field. The API has helped me a lot.
- @missrachilli. I’ve made great friends with people I wouldn’t otherwise have known. It’s also gave me such exposure–so many people know who I am and about my work. It’s great!
- @ryanolson. Twitter helps online visibility by allowing me to converse with experts in my area and share with others as I learn. Thus creating a circle of knowledge that, while maybe not immediately, inevitably leads to new people finding you. :D
What About You?
Has Twitter played a role in your freelancing success?
Share your stories and tips.